Symphony No. 5 (2022)
for Chamber Orchestra (with Voices)
1.1.1+Bcl.1/0.1.2.0/1perc/pno/6 solo voices (SSMMAA)/strings
Duration: 21 min.
Dedication: for the Orlando Contemporary Chamber Orchestra
Commission: Commissioned by the Orlando Contemporary Chamber Orchestra
Symphony No. 5 (2022) for chamber orchestra (with voices) was commissioned by and written for the Orlando Contemporary Chamber Orchestra (Jamie Wehr, Founder and Artistic Director).
Since childhood, I have always had relatively vivid and detailed dreams at night. Like many people, the specifics of most dreams flee the mind very quickly upon waking in the morning. So most of my dreams remained only vague memories after a few hours into a given day. However, in 2020, I was faced with weeks and months on end where “normal life” had stopped, and upon waking in the morning, there were no places to go and no typical work to begin. I thus spent some conscious effort, as a first act upon waking, committing into permanent memory the details and narratives of my dreams. Over time this allowed me to see patterns and connections to the kind of vivid and free associations that were created—often things that I’d never have imagined or thought of while waking, yet often with some vague connections or inspirations from my “awake” life.
This symphony is inspired by the kind of connections and threads that ran through my dreams. While writing this music, I considered a title or subtitle relating to this. However, I ultimately decided for an entirely abstract title, because what happens in the piece is purely musical. While the patterns and connections influenced the way the music unfolded, there is no literal or programmatic depiction. These ideas and processes were applied to purely musical material to produce a purely musical result.
In the final section of the piece, the purely orchestral discourse is joined by wordless voices. I suppose this might represent a kind of human intrusion: gradually leaving the dream world and awakening into the day.